Broward County Schools to Install New Smart Cameras
The district has approved the installation of new surveillance systems that includes 116 high-def smart cameras to recognize visitors.
Broward County schools recently announced its plan to install new smart cameras that will have artificial intelligence capabilities.
The cameras, which are a part of a $621,000 security system upgrade will be used to check visitors against databases for expelled students, sex offenders and convicted felons.
While the cameras will not have facial recognition specifically, they will have “appearance search,” technology. For example, they will be able to recognize a red backpack and black shirt to identify a person.
“These cameras’ artificial intelligence recognizes the movements and characteristics of people and vehicles, bringing actionable activity to the attention of those monitoring the cameras,” the district and Broward County government wrote in an application for a federal grant.
The U.S. Dept. of Justice approved $466,000 in grant money for the system and the school district will pay the remainder of the cost.
Security upgrades at Broward schools have been in the works since the beginning of the school year, with single point entries being one of them. At 135 of the district’s 230 schools, there will only be one way in during the school day.
More “Code Red” drills were also initiated to help prepare students for an emergency.
Mental health services were also a big part of the upgrade, with $5 million going toward hiring additional counselors, social workers and behavioral specialists.
Last month, the Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission released a draft of its school safety recommendations.
The 407-page document discussed issues like physical security, arming teachers and employee training.
“This will be essential in helping to improve our security measures, to track who belongs and quickly alerting who does not belong on campus,” said Lori Alhadeff, a member of the Broward School Board.